Despite his disappointment at his two bogeys – or the absence of any more than the six birdies he made – the reality was that the frequent rain showers and colder weather on Outeniqua, Montagu and The Links at Fancourt made scoring extremely difficult and his four-under needed to be seen through that prism.
“Everything depends on what the weather does,” he said. “It was really tough out there, especially in the middle section of my round. It started to rain harder and harder and then it stopped for 30 seconds, and you’d put everything away and there wasn’t even one shot and you’d have to have everything back on again.
”But I got off to a really good start when there was no rain. I was four-under through five, and from then on, it was just a case of hanging on. It wasn’t very pleasant.
“I’m a little disappointed with four-under at the end. I think six-under would have been a really good score. It would have moved me up. I needed that to get into contention for the final round, but iof the weather stays like this, then I’ll be okay,” he laughed.
In the six years that the tournament has been played over the three courses at Fancourt – each player has a round on each of the courses ahead of the cut to 65 and ties, after which the final round is played on Montagu – Outeniqua has widely been regarded as the course on which to go low.
“Outeniqua wasn’t easy today at all,” said Horne. “I just took advantage of the short holes and just hung in there.”
The challenge of Montagu lies in wait for all who make the cut, and there haven’t been many final round pyrotechnics recently. Last year’s champion Tano Goya had to repel a closing 66 by Lucas Bjerregard, but his 68 was enough to do so.
“I like to play the harder golf courses,” Horne said of Montagu. “If last year is anything to go by, nobody really goes flat out on the last day. Montagu’s a tough course under pressure, so if you make four or five-under in that final round, you’re going to shoot way up the leaderboard.
“I’ll just have to get going, post a good score, and see what happens.”